Report No. 80
It is requested that your views may be expressed on the following points:
(1) Is the scheme of our Constitution for appointment of Judges of the Supreme Court and the High Court, by and large, sound or does it require to be thrown overboard and substituted by an altogether new scheme?
(2) Have some defects or lacunae come to the surface in actual working of the scheme of our Constitution for appointment of Judges of the Supreme Court and the High Courts?
(3) Do you think that these defects and lacunae are of such a character as can be rectified by plugging the loopholes and without throwing overboard the whole scheme?
(4) What is your view regarding the appointment of a Judges Appointment Commission for whatever be the name given to it?
(5) In case you are of the view that it is desirable to have the above-mentioned Commission, do you agree with the view reproduced above regarding the composition of the Commission? If you do not agree with the above view, who, in your opinion should be the Chairman and the members of the Commission? Also please specify as to what should be the strength of the Commission in such an event.
(6) What is your opinion about having practising members of the bar, including Government counsel, as members of the Commission?
(7) Would you consider it preferable for the Commission to informally consult the members of the Bar, including the Attorney-General, Solicitor-General and Advocate-General, in the matter of the appointment of Judges instead of having members of the bar as members of the Commission?
(8) What is your view regarding the suggestion that the Chief Justice of the High Court before making a recommendation should consult his two seniormost colleagues and should state the views of each one of them in respect of the recommendation? What is also your view about the suggestion that a recommendation with which the two seniormost colleagues agree, should normally be accepted?
(9) What is your view regarding the suggestion that in the matter of appointment of the Chief Justice of the High Court, no Junior Judge should normally be appointed in supersession of the seniormost Judge ?
(10) What is your view with regard to the suggestion that if the seniormost Judge is not considered suitable for appointment as Chief Justice of the High Court, in that event, the Chief Justice of a Judge from another High Court should normally be appointed as Chief Justice?
(11) What is your view with regard to the suggestion that we should more frequently appoint a Judge from outside the State as Chief Justice of the High Court?
(12) What is your view with regard to the suggestion that we should have a convention according to which one-third of the Judges in each High Court should be from another State?
(13) What is your view with regard to the suggestion that in the matter of the appointment of Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, the normal convention should be to appoint the seniormost Judge and that there should be no departure from this convention unless this course is approved by the Commission?
(14) Should the Commission have the power to initiate a new name not hitherto recommended in the matter of the appointment of-
(a) High Court Judge;
(b) Chief Justice of the High Court;
(c) Supreme Court Judge;
(d) Chief Justice of the Supreme Court?
If the answer be in the affirmative in respect of some of the categories and in the negative in respect of other categories, the same may also be indicated.
(15) What is your view regarding the suggestion that the consultation with the Commission should be in addition to the present practice in accordance with existing constitutional provisions and that consultation should take place at the final stage before the President is advised to appoint a person as a Judge?
(16) Should the recommendations of the Commission be binding upon the Government? What suggestions would you make for a situation in which the Government disagrees with the recommendations of the Commission?
(17) If you think that the scheme of appointment of Judges should be thrown over¬board and be replaced by an altogether new scheme, what, in your opinion, should be the new scheme?
(18) What is your opinion about having a common panel or pool of persons for appointment as High Court Judges who have given consent to be appointed outside their State?
(19) What, in your opinion, should be the age group out of which persons should be normally appointed Judges of-
(a) the High Court; and
(b) the Supreme Court?
(20) Any other suggestion you would like to make in the matter.